Oleg Anatolyevich Tsarov (Russian: Олег Анатольевич Царёв, Oleg Tsarev; Ukrainian: Олег Анатолійович Царьов, Oleh Anatoliyovych Tsarov; born 2 June 1970) is a Dnipropetrovsk businessman, politician and separatist leader of Novorossiya (a separatist confederation in eastern Ukraine).
Tsarov is a former People's Deputy of Ukraine elected for the Party of Regions (but expelled from that party on 7 April 2014). He is since 3 June 2014 wanted by police for allegedly promoting separatism and violence.
Tsaryov started his career in 1992 as an engineer for the preparation of production at "Avteks" (Автекс), a specialized small business in Dnipropetrovsk. Then in 1993 he became head of the Ukrainian financial insurance company "Confidence" (Доверие). After leaving Confidence in 1995, he held a succession of senior positions at the Dnipropetrovsk Computer Centre Ltd (Днепропетровский компьютерный центр), a company called Silicon Valley (Кремниевая долина), and then the Dnipropetrovsk Paper Mill (Днепропетровская бумажная фабрика).
His company "Dniprobuminvest" went bankrupt in March 2014.
Tsarov became a People's Deputy of Ukraine (народний депутат України) in 2002. In 2005 he became head of the Dnipropetrovsk regional branch of the Party of Regions. In 2006, he became a People's Deputy of Ukraine for the Party of Regions.
Tsarov was a self-nominated candidate in the 2014 Ukrainian presidential election. On 29 March a Party of Regions convention supported Mykhailo Dobkin nomination as a presidential candidate. On 7 April 2014 the political council of that party expelled Tsarov from the party. On 11 April 2014 Tsarov traveled to Donetsk and said he was ready to become a leader of the so-called "South-east movement". According to one source quoted by the National Press Agency of Ukraine, Tsarov also assured separatists in Donetsk that would do everything to disrupt the May 25, 2014 presidential elections. "I'm sure that will be no elections," he said. He then promised that he would create a "central authority" within the center of Donetsk. On 14 April, Oleg Tsarov was beaten by a mob after an interview in the ICTV building in Kiev. The beating was denied by some, though press agencies published videos of the mob and photos of Oleg Tsaryov half-naked with bruises. After this beating he stated "I am against a third party interfering in the affairs of Ukraine. Until we learn to listen to each other, Ukraine will stand no chance”.
Tsarov withdrew his presidential candidacy on 29 April. He claimed to so because it was dangerous for him to continue his presidential campaign and meet with voters in Kiev (earlier that month Tsarov said he had been beaten by pro-Western radical Ukrainian activists in Kiev). Tsarov called on "all presidential candidates representing Ukraine's eastern and southeastern regions" (namely) Petro Symonenko, Mykhailo Dobkin, Serhiy Tihipko and Renat Kuzmin to boycott the election; because "An election that is being held while a civil war is unfolding must be boycotted". He added that if they did not withdrew they would be "playing into the hands of the illegitimate authorities and legitimizing not only them but also their decision to start a civil war against the eastern regions". After the elections Tsaryov refused to recognize the election as legitimate; as he claimed "it was a choice only of half of Ukraine".
On May 13, 2014 Tsarov was sanctioned by the European Union for calling for the creation of Federal State of Novorossiya. Also in May 2014, a recording of a death threat phone call allegedly made to Tsarov by the governor of Dnipropetrovsk Oblast and owner of PrivatBank, Ihor Kolomoisky, began circulating in social media. In the call Kolomoisky tells Tsaryov that there is a bounty of $1 million on his head, and to stay in Moscow if he doesn't want to be killed. Tsarov claimed the call was authentic.
On 3 June 2014 Tsarov was stripped of his parliamentary immunity by the Verkhovna Rada (Ukraine's parliament) who also sanctioned his arrest. Tsarov is now wanted for making "public calls to overthrow the existing constitutional system in Ukraine, change its state borders and stage acts of disobedience, which entailed grave consequences and caused many casualties among law enforcers and peaceful civilians".
Russian prosecutors refuse to extradite Tsarov to Ukraine and (according to Ukraine falsely) state that they have not received such a request from Ukraine.
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On 9 December 2013 Tsarov requested to the Security Service and Foreign Ministry of Ukraine to deport or/and ban foreign organizers and political consultants of the Euromaidan-protests, document scans of which he posted (and later removed) on his Facebook account. Among those named in the document notably included Andreas Umland, Stanislav Belkovsky, Taras Kuzio, Gleb Pavlovsky, and former Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili, among others.
Tsarov was pleased with the so-called anti-protest laws adopted in January of 2014, stating that it was good that these laws made non-governmental organizations that accept foreign funds register as "foreign agents" because such funds only benefited the United States.
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